Albuquerque Buzz: September 2010

by Christie Chisholm, LocalFlavor Magazine, September 2010

Mother Road Theatre Company has won itself a secure place in my cynical heart; it’s quickly becoming one of my favorite theater companies in the state. The work it did on The Beauty Queen of Leenane this spring was so utterly superb that I still find myself thinking about it and wishing the show was still running so I could see it again and bring everyone I know, and everyone they know. So the news that Mother Road is coming out with a new show this month, a Julian Rad and Hilary Adams adaptation of Moby Dick, makes me feel all giggly. There’s not a chance I’m missing this, and you shouldn’t miss it, either. The show runs Sept. 3 through 26, on Thursdays and Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 6 p.m., and Sundays at 2 p.m. It’s at the home of Mother Road, The Filling Station (1024 Fourth Street SW). Tickets are a mere $16 and can be bought online at www.brownpapertickets.com, over the phone at 505.243.0596, and you can also reserve them by e-mailing reservations@motherroad.org. For more information, visit www.motherroad.org. Don’t miss out. I mean it.

It’s hard to believe it’s nearly fall; it seems like we can still feel the heat of summer radiating off our backs. But autumn is upon us, and there’s no better indication of it than the State Fair. Sept. 10 to 26 brings roasted corn, merry-go-rounds and concerts to Expo New Mexico. And, of particular note, it also brings the second annual Governor’s Green Chile Cheeseburger Challenge. After the Buckhorn Tavern in San Antonio, N.M., emerged victorious on the Food Network’s “Throwdown with Bobbly Flay” last year, crafting a better green chile cheeseburger than the host, a little lightbulb of inspiration went off over Gov. Bill Richardson’s head and he decided to start the statewide contest. Held on the Avenue of the Governors at the Fairgrounds on Wednesday, Sept. 15, 20 New Mexican restaurants will marinate, grill and slather their best burgers with an eye on the championship. If you want to enter the competition, the deadline is Friday, Sept. 3. For more information, visit www.newmexico.org/greenchilecheeseburger. The State Fair is open Wednesdays through Sundays. For a full list of scheduled events, times and ticket prices, visit www.exponm.com/fair.

Maybe you grew up in Albuquerque—you know it so well that El Kookooee is old hat and you’re so accustomed to green chile sauce you practically (or literally) drink it. Or maybe you’re new to the Duke City and still trying to figure out your favorite place for a cup of joe. Whatever your relation to this town, there’s a good chance you’ll learn more about it from the Insiders’ Guide to Albuquerque, by Tania Casselle (full disclosure: Casselle is a LocalFlavor contributing writer). It was released this year by Globe Pequot under its Insiders’ Guide series, and the book covers all that is near and dear to Burque’s citizenry. From city history to festivals and events to shopping and dining, Casselle gives readers the grand tour of our culturally diverse desert mecca. Among other places, you can find it at Amazon.com, and the going rate is $18.95.

Hey, it’s time for the Solar Fiesta! Two days of exhibits and workshops about all things solar and sustainable hits this Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 11 and 12. The New Mexico Solar Energy Association (NMSEA), which hosts the bash, has brought in educational institutions, engineers, consultants, financiers and more to talk about the industry. Admission prices are complicated, but they basically range from $7 to $15, depending on what you want to do, with discounts given to seniors and kids, and there’s free admission for teachers, PNM employees, NMSEA members and kids under 12. It’s at the Menaul School (301 Menaul NE). For more information and a full list of events, which include a solar bake-off and a solar flea market, visit www.nmsea.org. You can also call 505.246.0400 or 888.88.NMSOL (886.6765).

The concept of growing and eating food close to home has reintroduced itself to American culture in the last few years. To celebrate this movement, Albuquerque’s Open Space Visitor Center is throwing its third annual Urban Farm and Harvest Festival on Saturday, Sept. 18. A kids costume contest, hayrides, a magic show, local arts and crafts, live music, and local food will all be up for consumption. Plus, entrance is free. Takes place at 6500 Coors NW, between Montaño and Paseo del Norte, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, visit www.cabq.gov/openspace.

Speaking of harvest festivals, pack in a full weekend of them and stop by Erda Gardens and Learning Center’s annual Harvest Festival on Sunday, Sept. 19. Erda Gardens is the city’s oldest and only biodynamic Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm. Relax with live music, sack races, a bean bag toss, a burrito bar, a cupcake walk (!!!), a salsa contest, an apple cider press, homemade food and drinks, and pony rides (for the kids, at least). Entrance is free, and the festivities go from noon to 4 p.m. at the Historic Sanchez Farm (1108 Arenal SW). Call 505.610.1538 or visit www.erdagardens.org for more info.

OK, so I’m biased. I had a yearlong tryst with architecture a while back, and I became so rapturously enamored with the field that I actually started a master’s degree in it. The flame faded, and I came to realize that my infatuation was just that, and we went our separate ways. But I always think upon it fondly. So maybe I’m the only one who’s mega excited that September is Architecture Month, but I’m betting at least a few of you are, as well. To celebrate the industry that designs the spaces of our lives, the Albuquerque chapter of the American Institute of Architects has set up a slew of local events. Perhaps most awesome among them is the annual Architecture Tour, which for the first time will feature both award-winning residential and commercial buildings. Get a look at the inside of the Oblio House in Cedar Crest, the Escarpment House on the Westside, the Tamarind Institute and more. The tour takes place on Sunday, Sept. 19, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Also catch a lecture by architects whose work is featured in the tour on Saturday, Sept. 18, from 4 to 6 p.m. at George Pearl Hall Auditorium at UNM. Tickets are $15 for one person or $25 for two. For details, including information on where to buy tickets, visit www.aiaabq.com, where you can also find out about more architecturally inclined happenings this month.